Wildfire concerns to continue despite recent rainfall, forecaster says

    (Photo: New Jersey Forest Fire Service)

    (Photo: New Jersey Forest Fire Service)

    Conditions are once again moist at the Jersey Shore after rounds of rain since last night but it won’t last for long. 

    And given the recent dry stretch, which has allowed numerous brush fires to spread more easily, that’s a concern for forecasters.

    According to meteorologist Mitchell Gaines of the National Weather Service office in Mount Holly, NJ, the precipitation that began last night and will continue in periods likely through tomorrow morning is better than nothing at all. 

    “The rainfall has been beneficial,” he said in a telephone interview this afternoon, adding that the total precipitation amount through tonight — or about in a 24 hour period — will be normal for a typical three day stretch.

    The forecaster said the rain is moistening the ground, “at least a little bit,” although “it won’t really have a lasting effect.”

    As of this morning, rainfall since last night at the Jersey Shore ranged from .79″ in Jackson to .23″ in Stafford, according to the New Jersey Forest Fire Service. 

    What concerns Gaines is that after tomorrow morning, except for a slight chance of a shower or thunderstorm on Friday, a mostly pattern will develop for at least a week.

    That’s good news for those with outdoor holiday plans but it could signal danger for wildfires. 

    “At least temporarily today and tomorrow, the recent rain should limit the potential for fire spreading. But we’ll still have fire concerns after,” Gaines said.

    Rainfall has been below normal for the entire month. Atlantic City has seen 1.32″ of rain this month, while the normal rainfall for June is 2.81″, the forecaster said. 

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